Women in Rotary
A Winning Proposition
Where It All Began
Rotary Founded in 1905 as a men-only club
Rotary officially open to women in 1989
Over 215,000 women in Rotary by 2012
Equates to 17.7% of Rotary membership
16.9% of districts have women governors
Phenomenal growth, and yet…..
There’s Work To Do
• For every female Rotarian, there are five male
Rotarians! Why?
• Perception still exists in some parts of the
world that women are not welcome in Rotary.
Based on past history
Cultural bias against women
• Lack of informal networking opportunities to
learn about opportunities for women in Rotary
There’s Work To Do
• Women associated with the home sphere-Misconception by men and women that women
are less capable, competitive, and task-oriented
than men.
Difficulty in balancing family responsibilities,
careers, and Rotary
• Misconceptions strengthened by lack of
women leaders in Rotary as role models
Why Women Are Important
to Rotary
• Increased gender diversity leads to:
Greater productivity and improved
Supported by private sector research
Increased attraction of, and retention of,
Women are one-half the world’s population.
Consider demographics in your community.
How to Attract Women
• Build a product they will want to
• Increase number of women in senior
Rotary positions.
• Conduct recruitment campaigns
targeted toward women.
What Makes Them Want
to Join?
• Tailor the Rotary message for your
• Messaging should break down
• Messaging should appeal to features of
Rotary of interest to women.
• Develop a repertoire of club projects that
appeals to and attracts all demographics.
Where To Find Them
• Utilize women to recruit women-Colleagues
Community organizations
Social groups
• Rotary programs—RYLA, Youth Exchange,
GSE, Ambassadorial Scholars and Peace
They’ve Joined…Now What?
• Take a personal interest in them.
• Encourage women to pursue positions
of leadership in your club.
• Help them to discover their strengths
through volunteerism.
The Bottom Line
• Women in Rotary receive the satisfaction of
knowing they are involved in something
greater than themselves.
• Rotary benefits from fresh ideas and
• Members and clubs grow together.
A Win-Win for Everyone!!

Recruiting Women in Rotary - Nancy Smith Power